Singles’ Day, also called “Double 11” is an unofficial Chinese holiday to celebrate those who are not in relationships. It dates back to the 1990s, and the date was chosen for its collection of lonely 1s, and has since become, officially, the largest shopping holiday in the world.
Traditions include gatherings for single friends, sharing letters of appreciation, and, of course, shopping. The holiday is an opportunity to give gifts to friends, and an excuse to “treat yourself.” Double 11 is also an opportunity for brands to offer exclusive launches, further driving up demand and impressions.
While Singles’ Day has been gaining momentum for years, with revenues increasing annually, the COVID-19 pandemic has further amplified the unofficial-holiday’s success, particularly for ecommerce, as spurred on by lockdown restrictions and stay-at-home orders. In 2020, Alibaba’s gross merchandise volume nearly doubled from 2019.
The name is now also a misnomer: Singles’ Day shopping begins a few weeks before November 11.
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